Our verdict

On Cloudstratus nails the role of a firm-yet-comfy road running shoe, perfect for casual runners who enjoy moderate paces. In our tests, we found it's even versatile enough to double for cross-training or walking. While it leans a bit towards the expensive side at £180 and durability might raise an eyebrow, we consider its well-rounded features and amazing build quality make it a popular choice for those seeking an all-purpose running shoe.

Pros

  • Super stable
  • Top-notch build quality
  • Versatile as a walking or gym shoe
  • Bouncy midsole
  • Excellent for winter conditions
  • Plush upper and heel for comfort
  • Unique ride

Cons

  • High price point at £180
  • Questionable outsole durability
  • Could have better breathability

Audience verdict

87
Great!
  • Top 14% most popular running shoes

Who should buy

We believe that the On Cloudstratus is an interesting choice for:

  • Runners dealing with minor stability issues who are seeking a reliable shoe with firm cushioning.
  • Loyal fans of the On brand looking for a daily training shoe suited for easy paces.
  • Those who aren't budget-constrained and are willing to invest £180 in a versatile shoe with superior build quality.

On Cloudstratus

Who should NOT buy

If you're seeking a shoe with a plush midsole, you probably want to steer clear of this one. For a daily trainer offering both stability and a softer underfoot feel, you'd be better off considering options like the Saucony Tempus or the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20.

Also, we found that the Cloudstratus clearly falls short in terms of breathability, making it less than ideal for summer training in hot weather. If breathability is a high priority for you in a do-it-all shoe, our tests suggest the ASICS Novablast 3 would be a better choice. And if you want an On shoe that offers enough ventilation, we recommend checking out the Cloudswift 3.

On Cloudstratus

Breathability

Upon first glance, the upper of the On Cloudstratus seems to promise superior breathability. However, this perception couldn't be further from the truth. Despite the numerous ventilation holes, our testing revealed disappointing breathability. We could only rate it a run-of-the-mill 3 out of 5.

It's all well and good to have abundant ventilation holes, but if another layer of fabric blocks airflow beneath them, their purpose is negated.

That's precisely what we found in this shoe. This obstruction also explains why we couldn't see any light passing through from the other side.

Further scrutiny under the microscope provided even more insight.

On Cloudstratus microscope

If not for the black fabric layer that On has incorporated underneath, the upper would have excelled in breathability.

On Cloudstratus

Undoubtedly, this layer is there for added comfort, a trade-off that On apparently deemed worthwhile. Yet, this choice sacrifices breathability for the sake of comfort.

Test results
Cloudstratus 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 222 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

For those who value a long-lasting upper, we regret to bring disappointing news. 

In our Dremel test, the Cloudstratus unfortunately didn't hold up well, scoring the lowest possible rating of 1 out of 5. Its performance clearly pales when compared to the Cloudswift 3.

On Cloudstratus Toebox durability
Test results
Cloudstratus 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 156 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

As we turn our attention to the heel counter, we stumble upon a similar problem.

Despite its ample padding, it falls short in the durability department. Look at debris flying everywhere!

On Cloudstratus Heel padding durability
Test results
Cloudstratus 1
Average 3.1
Compared to 152 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The Cloudstratus comes with a hard rubber compound in its outsole, registering at 82.4 HC on our durometer.

On Cloudstratus outsole

This hard rubber does cut down on the shoe's grip somewhat, which we aren't thrilled about. But on the bright side, it should make for a more durable shoe.

On Cloudstratus Outsole hardness
Test results
Cloudstratus 82.4 HC
Average 80.4 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 273 running shoes
Number of shoes
54.9 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

However, we're not fans of making assumptions about what might happen. We much prefer putting things to the test to discover the reality. So, we once again used our Dremel in the lab to evaluate the outsole's durability.

We measured the indentation at 1.38 mm, which is higher than we'd expected for such hard rubber. While this isn't necessarily a deal-breaker when considering this shoe, it's evident that there's room for improvement in the outsole.

On Cloudstratus Outsole durability
Test results
Cloudstratus 1.4 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 134 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Another aspect to keep in mind is that this model contains less rubber (2.8 mm) than the average running shoe. This, combined with the disappointing durability we observed, could result in the outsole wearing down prematurely.

On Cloudstratus Outsole thickness
Test results
Cloudstratus 2.8 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

On is notorious for manufacturing heavy shoes, and this model is no exception. Weighing in at 10.35 oz (293g), it feels too bulky relative to its stack height.

On Cloudstratus Weight
Test results
Cloudstratus 10.34 oz (293g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

We clocked in a stack height of 33.8 mm at the heel, which aligns with the current average standards and accommodates heel strikers. There's no need for more in a versatile shoe like this, as that would only boost the weight.

On Cloudstratus Heel stack
Test results
Cloudstratus 33.8 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The same pattern continues to the forefoot (24.1 mm). It's as if On designed the Cloudstratus to be as average as possible!

On Cloudstratus Forefoot stack
Test results
Cloudstratus 24.1 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

This translates to a 9.7-mm heel-to-toe drop, which is great for heel strikers but may be excessive for those of us who are midfoot or forefoot strikers.

On Cloudstratus Drop
Test results
Cloudstratus 9.7 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

Have we mentioned this shoe's on the "follow-the-crowd" bandwagon? Here's more proof of it with its 4.6 mm insole. It's cushioned and won't give you any problem.

On Cloudstratus Insole thickness
Test results
Cloudstratus 4.6 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 288 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

On shoes are known for their firmness, and the Cloudstratus doesn't buck the trend. We felt the firmness right off the bat, but we wanted to put a number on it.

At 29.9 HA, it's undoubtedly on the firm side, which might not sit well with those who love soft, squishy midsoles.

On Cloudstratus Difference in midsole softness in cold

That said, the unique design of the CloudTec midsole does create a slightly softer feel underfoot than the numbers suggest.

On Cloudstratus Midsole softness
Test results
Cloudstratus 29.9 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 220 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
On Cloudstratus Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After a 20-minute nap in the freezer, we picked up our durometer and were pleased to find a reading of 34.8 HA, which is close to our previous measurement.

It's evident that this shoe boasts remarkable resilience against chilly conditions! The slight 16.5% increase is thanks to the unique midsole composition.

Not just made from EVA, it also incorporates Olefin Block Co-polymers or OBC. This combination grants the midsole an impressive resistance to cold temperatures. 

On Cloudstratus Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Cloudstratus 16.5%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 219 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Cloudstratus may not be a shoe purely built for stability, but it sure doesn't disappoint in this regard.

It feels stable with each stride. So, we confidently say it's a solid pick for overpronators.

Torsional rigidity

We gave twisting the shoe a shot, but it wasn't a walk in the park at all. It earned a 3 out of 5 in our rating.

This rigidity is the first sign that shows us why this shoe provides such a stable ride.

Test results
Cloudstratus 3
Average 3.3
Compared to 271 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter in the Cloudstratus contributes to its enhanced stability.

On Cloudstratus heel

Though the plastic piece that surrounds the heel might give an impression of max stiffness, we've given it a rating of 3/5. That's pretty middle-of-the-road.

Rest assured, comfort isn't compromised. There's plenty of padding in the heel area, preventing any discomfort from rubbing or potential aches.

Test results
Cloudstratus 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 255 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Although this model is not marketed by On as a stability-oriented shoe, we've previously mentioned that it indeed stands out as a remarkably stable choice.

One of the main contributing factors is the incredibly wide forefoot, which we've measured at a substantial 117.9 mm.

On Cloudstratus Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Cloudstratus 117.9 mm
Average 113.6 mm
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

On the other hand, the heel doesn't match up with the same wide design, clocking in at only 89.3 mm.

It certainly provides stability for midfoot and forefoot strikers, but for heel strikers, it falls a bit short.

On Cloudstratus Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Cloudstratus 89.3 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We found the Cloudstratus extremely comfortable, whether we were walking, moving around in the lab, or even running. This led us to expect a low measurement in the 90-degree bend test. 

Indeed, with a score of just 23.8N, it proved to be considerably more flexible than most shoes on the market.

Test results
Cloudstratus 23.8N
Average 29.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 275 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Yet, after a 20-minute stint in the freezer, we slipped them back on to find them noticeably stiffer.

When we repeated the same test, the result was a disheartening 37.2N, showing a significant increase in rigidity.

Indeed, this represents a significant 56.3% spike in rigidity, faring poorly when compared to most other shoes on the market. It's quite disappointing, especially for a shoe that costs £180.

Test results
Cloudstratus 56.3%
Average 36.3%
Compared to 275 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Internal length

At 267.3 mm for a US size 9, the shoe runs a little bit shorter than expected.

Only runners with exceptionally wide feet might consider sizing up, but for the vast majority the shoe fits 100% true to size.

On Cloudstratus Internal length
Test results
Cloudstratus 267.3 mm
Average 269.1 mm
Compared to 156 running shoes
Number of shoes
259.9 mm
Internal length
280.4 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

In our lab, this is the first upper we've measured at exactly 100.0 mm. Not only is this measurement interesting, but it also indicates that we're dealing with a generously spacious shoe that can comfortably accommodate wide feet.

On Cloudstratus Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Cloudstratus 100.0 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The area for the toes is also notably wide. Thanks to the absence of a tapered toe cap, there's ample room for the toes to move freely.

On Cloudstratus Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Cloudstratus 80.4 mm
Average 78.0 mm
Compared to 167 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

As we frequently observe in On Cloud shoes, a bootie-style tongue is incorporated, providing a secure and snug fit.

On Cloudstratus Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Cloudstratus Bootie

Comfort

Tongue padding

Clearly, On prioritizes comfort over weight, and the Cloudstratus is a testament to that. With a 7.8 mm thick tongue, it's definitely a well-padded one.

On Cloudstratus Tongue padding
Test results
Cloudstratus 7.8 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 290 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

One upside to this On shoe is its removable insole. Given that it's a spacious shoe, you won't face any issues when trying to fit in your own orthotics.

On Cloudstratus Removable insole
Test results
Cloudstratus Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

While it might not be the most reflective On shoe available—take a look at the Cloud Waterproof—it's great to see that the logo catches light. And this is a nice touch considering many shoes today completely overlook the inclusion of any reflective elements at all.

On Cloudstratus Reflective elements
Test results
Cloudstratus Yes